So here it is my little bit of land that is already prepared for me! Si and I have been having exciting full days preparing for some great things in the business around UnJunking kids lunch and sorting our home to be ready for me to teach food making and gardening classes. Since our land was devoid of food trees and gardens we are in the process of preparing that and it will take some time to have it honking along. What an exciting journey it will be.
When life feels a little full I make time to look at other ideas of how things can be simplified and make the most of available hours to us in each day. There was a lightbulb moment – what if I joined a community garden? The process was simple; here’s your space and please just help us once a month for a bit of a working bee for the garden that helps support needy families in the area. How could I resist!
Here’s my plot (woohoo!) a roaring 8 meter x 6 meter sheeted and dug area to get me up and running instantly. You’ll see lots of black polythene lying over much of the garden. This is a method called sheeting.
Let me explain.
By covering the land for a time greater than two months with a layer of plastic which has been perforated for air (preferably black so as to shut off light for grass to keep growing) it suffocates weed and grass growth and encourages worms to come to the surface of the soil. The worm activity feeds the topsoil layers and as the weeds die they self compost back into the soil. Perfect natural preparation in action. This is a method that applies to gardens that have good soil beneath. Clay soil is very heavy and is best having a garden built on top of like a raised layered garden.
As I proceed with my garden I will only uncover a section that I will be planting immediately at a time. For this beginning patch I will now dig in dolomite lime, available at local Palmers stores and a handful of sheep pellets each square meter. The lime and sheep manure will give an extra boost to the soil before I plant my winter brassicas here. Brassica’s are very heavy feeders so it is advisable to dust with a ring around each plant of either blood and bone or my favourite plant food which is available at Palmers stores from Ocean Organics. This seaweed liquid comes in a variety of plant health solutions. My top three are:
Organic comfrey spray – Works wonderfully as a plant tonic, well known to organic gardeners. Promotes flowering & strong root growth. ‘Hearts up’ broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce
Seaweed foliar spray – Is marvelous foliar for fungus, virus & aphid control. It is safe to spray often when plants are under attack. Effective against leaf curl on peaches, black spot on roses, fire blight, white fly and other leaf borne pests.
Seaweed soil concentrate – Prevents soil borne disease and unlocks the soil’s own micronutrients. Builds up plants own immune system and encourages vibrant healthy growth and is excellent for plants under stress.
I’ll keep you posted as I mingle with this eclectic group of gardeners, digging my way around growing lots of tasty food.
To read more about Marias UnJunk Kids Lunch programme click here